Are Old Earth & Young Earth Creationism Both Biblical, Orthodox Interpretations? A Response to Dr Jay Wile’s Big Tent Orthodoxy Position & the 21st Century Down-Grade


Who Will Warn Us When They Make It A Sin To Speak Plainly?

The other day I received a phone call from a rather delightful Orthodox Presbyterian. Mr. Jonathan Orcutt, a Biblical Creationist, called to encourage me, having read some of my comments on Dr. Jay Wile’s blog site. Mr. Orcutt was most upset over this Great Homeschool Conventions debacle in which Ken Ham has been judged a sinner for naming compromise, and righteously indignant over Dr. Wile’s rosy defense of compromiser Dr. Peter Enns. He also had some concerns regarding Apologia, the company Dr. Wile founded, and their curriculum and I was able to advise him that Dr. Wile is no longer with the company. In fact, Answers in Genesis has come out in support of Apologia since our conversation.

In the course of our conversation, I began wondering how a fellow who calls himself Young Earth Creationist comes to defend the likes of Dr. Enns. I recalled that I had written but neglected to publish an article regarding Dr. Wile’s views on what makes a biblical Christian back when he quit Apologia. The following is a discussion of Dr. Wile’s views, which I term “big tent orthodoxy.”  

I have updated it to reflect current developments.

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Last year, a lot of people in the Christian homeschool community were discussing Dr Jay Wile’s blog post, I No Longer Work For Apologia Educational Ministries – and with good reason! A lot of us use or have used or intend to use Apologia products. They teach a solid worldview, a good grasp of science from a Biblical Creationist perspective and many of those resources were written by Dr Wile himself, who sold the company back in 2009. So when the former owner of Apologia stated that “I have become increasingly uncomfortable with the new direction Apologia is taking”  and “I just cannot support its new direction or the vision of its new owner” and THEN stated that THIS was his given reason for formally resigning from the company he once owned, well, people got all out of joint, to say the least.

I do think Dr Wile found it necessary to make a distinction between himself and the new Apologia, since many folks assume he’s authoring their new stuff as well, and I don’t think he meant to demonize the new owners. Nor will that be the topic of this post. I think he made a sincere public statement out of genuinely held convictions and made it in such a way as to minimize the uproar it would inevitably cause. I’ll stand by that estimation until he proves me wrong.

To elaborate on his objections to Apologia’s worldview curriculum, he stated in one  comment that “the works of Dr. Ross would be an opposing viewpoint compared to Apologia products, even my books. Honestly, however, books by C.S. Lewis, Norman Geisler, and Gleason Archer would be opposing viewpoints to the new material being produced by Apologia.”

In another comment, he admits “I am an Arminianist, but it doesn’t bother me that the owners are Calvinists. What bothers me is the vision. Their vision for how to instill Biblical values in students is simply incompatible with mine. Also, I am a young-earther, but I don’t see that as a necessary interpretation of Genesis.” In an earlier, more comprehensive comment, states:

“…the really troubling aspect of the Apologia worldview curriculum is that based on what it says, the vast majority of evangelicals do not have a Biblical worldview. As I read the text, in order to have a Biblical worldview, you have to be a young-earth Calvinist. There is never any point at which the texts I have read (one that is already published and one in manuscript form) actually say that directly, but if you compile all the things the texts say about what a Christian is supposed to believe, that’s what I come up with.

More importantly, however, there is no discussion about the fact that there are many different kinds of Biblical worldviews among orthodox Christians. Thus, the book that is published and the manuscript of the second book give no indication that there is any other way for Christians believe regarding the issues discussed in the text. This is quite the opposite of what I strove for at Apologia. I believe that we developing thinking Christians who will hold onto their faith by allowing them to explore the faith, think about the various views within the faith, and come up with their own conclusions. That was the goal of my texts, and honestly, I think that’s why students like them so much. I actually give the students credit for being able to think for themselves and come to reasonable conclusions by themselves.

So even though I have specific disagreements regarding the content of the two books I have read, that doesn’t bother me as much as the fact that the books simply do not include any indication that there are other views in orthodox Christianity. Honestly, I think this presents a serious problem for students who begin interacting with other Christians who believe radically different things from what they were taught by their parents. I personally have seen the strife such interactions cause the Body of Christ and the individuals involved, simply because they have not been properly shown the wonderful diversity that exists within the church.”

While Dr Wile’s views on what should constitute Christian education are troubling in and of themselves [The Bible doesn’t tell us to teach our kids a wide range of views and let them figure it out; it says to train up a child in the way he should go and, since the Christian is commanded to be ready to give a reasoned defense for the hope within us, I believe we’re not only to teach them what they ought to believe but why they ought to believe it.], my chief concern here is his assertation that there are multiple orthodox views on Creation, especially when he includes Old Earth Creationism amongst those views.

It is my contention that Old Earth Creationism is not orthodox. At best, it is heterodox. Dr. Wile contends that both Old Earth and Young Earth Creationism are equally orthodox. In fact, he further objects to my use of the term Biblical Creationist as a proper designation for Young Earth Creationism while all other views should be considered extraBiblical Creationism for their characteristic of imposing extraBiblical ideas like evolution and long ages onto the Text.

Dr. Wile objected to my use of Biblical and extraBiblical Creationist in this fashion by saying:

“I strongly disagree with the idea that Old Earth Creationists aren’t Biblical. Are you really willing to say that people like Norman Geisler, Gleason Archer, and J.P. Moreland aren’t Biblical?

The young-earth view of creation is one orthodox interpretation of Scripture, but there are others. Even many in the early church, such as Origen, Clement of Alexandria, Athanasius of Alexandria , Basil of Caesarea, Augustine, and Hilary of Poitiers, didn’t think the Genesis days were 24-hour days. Why do modern young-earthers believe that they MUST be 24-hour days.

For the record, I am a young-earth creationist. I prefer that term, however, because I think old-earth creationists, as well as some theistic evolutionists, are also Biblical.”

Our readers should be made aware, if they aren’t already, that orthodox views represent the traditional accepted doctrines of the Church as affirmed by Christ and the apostles, that heresy represents doctrines in error and that heterodox views represent departures from the orthodox view that are permissible [ie. – they’re not heresy].

In supporting his case for Old Earth Creationism as an orthodox view, Dr Wile merrily points out that a handful of the Church Fathers did not view the 6 days of Genesis as literal days. He then contends that:

“Since the early church was not unanimous in taking the days of Genesis as 24-hour days, I fail to see why the modern church should be. Indeed, given the fact that many in the early church viewed the days of Genesis to be something other than 24-hour days, I think the modern church is free to believe that as well. Thus, if some Christians want to postulate that the days were something else (not an attempt at order, but instead, long ages of time), I can’t see how you can suddenly say they don’t believe the Bible. It seems to me that those who believe that the Genesis days represent long ages believe the Bible as much as Clement of Alexandria, Athanasius of Alexandria, Basil of Caesarea, Augustine, Hilary of Poitiers, etc., etc.”

Well, he’s correct in stating that Old Earth Creationists believe the Bible as much as the Church Fathers he names [the majority of the Church Fathers affirmed a literal, historical Creation Week], but that’s hardly a compliment. The fact is that they didn’t believe the Bible where Genesis [and the 4th Commandment] was concerned. They believed in “instantaneous creation.” They meant well, but they supposed that because God could do anything [He can] and can make whatever He wills occur in a moment [He’s not bound by time] that He would never take 6 days to create everything. They seemed to feel that it impugned on God’s omnipotence for Creation to take an entire week. And why should God speak, they reasoned, when He can accomplish His will with a thought instead.

Dr Wile quotes Philo Judaeus, a Jewish theologian who lived at the time of Christ, who held a similar view:

“And he says that the world was made in six days, not because the Creator stood in need of a length of time (for it is natural that God should do everything at once, not merely by uttering a command, but by even thinking of it); but because the things created required arrangement; and number is akin to arrangement.”

If only more artists would become theologians! Just because the Creator had the capacity to do things all at once without so much as an utterance doesn’t mean He could not choose to do otherwise! A creator typically enjoys the creative process. Why shouldn’t God? Other than this silly insistence that God must create according to the utmost capacity of His omnipotence [where did they get the notion that He must do what He is capable of with utmost efficiency?], no proponent of instantaneous creation has a leg to stand on. The Bible records 6 days of Creation and a Creator who speaks Creation into existence. On what grounds do we doubt the revealed Word of God?

Martin Luther spoke wisdom concerning these views:

“When Moses writes that God created heaven and earth and whatever is in them in six days, then let this period continue to have been six days, and do not venture to devise any comment according to which six days were one day. But, if you cannot understand how this could have been done in six days, then grant the Holy Spirit the honor of being more learned than you are.

The irony is that proponents of instantaneous creation were still Young Earth Creationists, a further testimony to the fact that a young Earth has ever been the traditional, orthodox position of the Church. Old Earth Creationism is a much newer view that only came about when scientists began to propose uniformitarian views of geology that cast doubt on the Biblical account of the Noachian worldwide Flood.

Rather than obeying the command to Let God be true and every man a liar, Old Earthers have supposed the plain meaning of Scripture to be in error [in some cases they admit they believe the “pre-scientific” authors to have just been entirely wrong!] so they hasten to accomodate the current consensus of men and try to make the Bible fit their opinions. The trouble is that the current consensus rests on the philosophy of naturalism

Dr. Wile attempts to make the case that since these Young Earth Creationists did not hold the days of Genesis to be six, consecutive 24-hour days that we need no do so either and that, furthermore, we can see from this that Young Earth Creationism has not always been the traditional view of the Church; therefore, other views on Creation are just as orthodox as YEC. I’m being overly obvious, but the point is that YEC is the traditional orthodox view of the Church even if some think the universe is 6 days younger than they ought. Old Earth Creationism did not come about until men proposed uniformitarian geology as an extraBiblical alternative explanation to Flood geology based on Biblical presuppositions.

He uses that [failed] point as a springboard to note that some Biblical Christians such as Spurgeon and CS Lewis have espoused long ages. This is certainly true. Yet he goes a step further by stating that since they were orthodox Biblical Christians their views on the age of the earth must also be considered orthodox and Biblical. It is hubris to warn folks that the notes and comments in their Bibles aren’t God-breathed and inerrant, only the Scripture is, and then pretend as if our holy heroes were somehow inerrant! A man may be considered Biblical and orthodox in all respects and still hold one view that is not. Thus our estimation that a man is orthodox [Biblical] is a generalization; there is none perfect save God. His argument is a classic non sequitur he should have recognized himself. Just because someone can be generalized as orthodox or Biblical does not mean that they cannot hold a heterodox view on some subject.

Again, martin Luther’s views on the subject of Church Fathers, Reformers and and other revered man of God, past and present, is cogent to our conversation:

“The “Days” of Creation were ordinary days in length. We must undertand that these days were actual days (veros dies), contrary to the opinion of the holy fathers. Whenever we observe that the opinions of the fathers disagree with Scripture, we reverently bear with them and acknowledge them to be our elders. Nevertheless, we do not depart from the authority of Scripture for their sake.”

This brings up Dr. Wiles original objection: that we shouldn’t exclude Old earth Creationism and even some theistic evolution from the term Biblical Creationist, because he feels it impugns an otherwise Biblical Christian who holds these views. It does impugn their inconsistency of hermeneutic, for they hold the Bible as their ultimate authority where it concerns fulfilled prophecy, the miracles of Christ and the Resurrection but arbitrarily hold the word of men as their ultimate authority where they dispute the historicity Genesis; these same men who dispute the historicity of Genesis also dispute fulfilled prophecy, the miracles of Christ, and the Resurrection by their naturalistic presuppositions! This is no doubt offensive to the Old Earth Creationist and the theistic evolutionist that I would dare to name their compromise and inconsistency, but their Creationism is still extraBiblical for they impose extraBiblical concepts like long ages and evolution upon the text; likewise, their Creationism is still extraBiblical because where it concerns Genesis and any passage refering to it as historical, they take extraBiblical sources as their ultimate authority over the plain meaning of the revealed Word of God. They impose meaning upon the text rather than deriving meaning from it.

The Bible warns against this: the Scripture is of no private interpretation. This is where we get the doctrine of the perspecuity of Scripture. Where Scripture is unclear, other Scripture passages are to be used to shed light on the intended meaning. The further extraBiblical Creationists lean away from the plain meaning of Scripture, the more extraBiblical [or conversely, the less Biblical] he becomes overall. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. The Bible warns us that no man can serve two masters [or authorities]  (Matthew 6:24). Spurgeon called this trend the down-grade – and many are on it in these dark days!

In closing this particular examination of the invalidity of Dr. Jay Wile’s notion of “big tent orthodoxy,” one wonders why he is so keen upon it? He claims to be a Young Earth Creationist but he takes great pains to defend extraBiblical Creationists of all stripes, even compromisers like Dr. Peter Enns of BioLogos who professes the fallible humanity of Christ and thereby offers the Son of God as an imperfect sacrifice for man’s sin, yet castigates Biblical Creationists like Ken Ham for insisting that Young Earth Creationism is the only Biblically consistent view of Scripture. Why does he play Devil’s advocate so fervently and so often? Why his double-minded insistence that he personally affirms Young Earth Creation, but, hey, those other guys have a point, right?

One can only speculate, and there has been entirely too much of that lately. What is certain is that Dr. Wile has gone from being a solid supporter of Biblical Creationism to being an accomodationist. In doing this, he maintains an official position of Young Earth Creationism but tells others it’s OK to believe extraBiblical Creation models as well.

Worse still [yes, it gets worse], he’s gone from a benign accomodationist position to disapproving of anyone who actually stands up for the Young Earth position he professes. His view might be called the “new evangelical tolerance,” a Christianized variant of the world’s new tolerance. This new tolerance goes beyond the traditional view of tolerance, of respecting opposing views to insisting that we not speak out against opposing views. The new evangelical tolerance will tolerate any compromise or sin except the “sin” of naming sin and compromise. Those who insist on doing so will be characterized as “really nasty,” “divisive,” “unloving” and unChristian. No one will care whether they speak the truth for they have turned away from the truth to fables, heaping to themselves teachers that will tell them what they want to hear. In doing so, they call evil good and good evil. Understand that I’m not condemning these compromisers: they are condemned already; the light of Scripture has come into the world but they prefer darkness! And they especially prefer silence!

Charles Spurgeon felt the sting of “evangelical tolerance” in his day. the Baptist Union, forgetting that we are to be “first pure, then peaceable,” tolerated any heresy to preserve the “unity of the Spirit.” But what hath Christ to do with Belial? When Spurgeon named those ministers and churches on the down-grade of compromise with novel doctrines, he was rewarded by being censured by the Baptist Union. Likewise, opines Dr. Henry Morris III in a recent article on the GHC debacle:

“Given the same scenario in the first century, Jesus would have been “disinvited” from speaking at these conventions, and certainly the apostle Paul for naming names, as he did in his epistles.”

What shall we do about this new evangelical tolerance? Spurgeon’s remarks concerning down-graders would apply equally well to Dr. Wile, the Great Homeschool Convention and anyone else who would encourage us to live peaceably with compromise while condemning and ostracizing those who call compromise and heresy into the light:

“A little plain speaking would do a world of good just now. These gentlemen desire to be let alone. They want no noise raised. Of course thieves hate watchdogs, and love darkness. It is time that somebody should spring his rattle, and call attention to the way in which God is being robbed of His glory, and man of his hope!”

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Brothers and sisters in Christ, the church is to be the pillar [support and proclamation post] and ground [foundation] of truth; thus saith the Scriptures. Let us speak plainly and boldly against both this present-day down-grade compromise and the new evangelical tolerance.

Christians wishing to make a definitive stand for Biblical Creation are encouraged to add their name to the Creation Letter, affirming the historcal veracity of God’s revealed Word from the very first word. We also urge Facebook users to “Like” the Creation Sunday page at http://facebook.com/creationsunday where you may receive updates on the Creation Sunday Movement. Next year’s Creation Sunday will be held on Feb. 12, 2012, the anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birthday. We expect a big push from Evolution Sunday supporters who will likely combine with Darwin Day celebrants to urge evolutionary compromise from our pulpits with greater intensity.

-Rev Tony Breeden

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24 Comments Add yours

  1. Tim Chaffey says:

    Hi Tony,
    Well said. I would encourage your readers to pray that all involved in this latest controversy will honor God by upholding His Word.
    I believe that Ken Ham was right on in pointing out Dr. Enns’ (I’ll say it) “unbiblical” views. Although Dr. Wile protests the notion that Dr. Enns does not have a high view of Scripture, it would seem that Westminster Seminary believed he did when they decided he needed to leave because of his unorthodox views on inerrancy.
    Your readers may be interested in seeing a post I wrote recently about the biblical position on publicly correcting a fellow believer. http://midwestapologetics.org/blog/?p=290.
    Keep up the great work!

    1. NOTE TO READERS: I have read the article Mr. Chaffey refers to and it is an excellent summary on the subject of publicly rebuking or correcting a fellow believer.

      Mr. Chaffey also co-authored [with Dr. Jason Lisle] Old-Earth Creationism on Trial, which I obviously recommend.

      -revTony

  2. Outside of simply stating what the Scriptures state – a redundant ‘full day’, one must say that the principle element of of our Salvation literally rests on the this point; because, if we are to presuppose there was an extended period of time in this 6 day period, there would obviously be death. And if there were death, there was struggle, suffering, and obvious subsequent dying. And if so, then what is the ‘shocking issue’ of God’s taking of an animal skin to cover (atone) for the first man and woman’s sin? And ultimately, how is death ‘ushered in’ becuase of sin, when it has supposedly pre-existed? If death has been in existence as a part of that which God called ‘good’ 5 times, and ‘beautiful’ once, how is the final crucifixion of Jesus a ‘sacrifice’? It would be of Edenic proprtion, not one of redeeming brokeness. Therefore, on all levels, the literal 6 day creation does matter – for if this is fractured in the beginning, all things following are up for suspect and death is not a curse, but a part of the created order. Lastly, one is ‘unbiblical’ when they are in agreement with something that is contrary to Scripture. One judges one’s self in this regard, so it matters little what we think – all that matters is what ‘is’. Peace and Blessings.

  3. TomH says:

    When you wrote, “…they take extraBiblical sources as their ultimate authority over the plain meaning of the revealed Word of God,” it seemed to me that it necessarily followed that old-earthers undermined either God’s omniscience or His truthfulness. Either juncture seems to me to lead to idolatry and heresy, though I expect that they have mostly denied God’s omniscience. If we look at the epistemic system of these men behind this belief of theirs, I don’t think that it’s naturalism, for many of them claim to be supernaturalists. Therefore your previous assertion that naturalism underlies this belief is in error. Rather, the epistemic system of old-earthers is a variety of scientism; they believe that Science explains all things about Nature, including things of Nature’s past. Since the grand Theory of Evolution (TOE) is part of Science in their minds, it is to be preferred to Genesis where Genesis contradicts the TOE. I fail to see how their position can be anything but idolatry, since they elevate Science above God. The problem is spiritual rather than philosophical in nature, though the symptoms manifest themselves as some bad philosophy.

    Now, we have important reasons to doubt scientism, the basis of their idolatry. First, philosophy has shown that “Science” is vague (see Larry Laudan, The Demise of the Demarcation Problem). Second, philosophy has shown that there is no such thing as “the Scientific Method” (see Paul Feyerabend, Against Method). It therefore follows that the notion from scientism that Science is some monolith of epistemic power with a defined methodology is nonsense. If anything, our notion of a monolithic, epistemically-powerful entity called “Science” is a fantasy concocted from indoctrination by an education system steeped in scientism and propaganda from a compliant media without any basis in reality. The real thing called “Science” is rather a random collage of disciplines with widely disparate methods and subjects which have drifted to us through history without any necessarily common epistemic or methodological themes or properties.

    Now, I am not against the real thing called “Science” in many important respects. Some of the disciplines of Science have real epistemic power. Physics in particular has powerful epistemic validation through technology. Chemistry likewise. Even much of Biology has powerful epistemic validation. However, it is erroneous thinking to assume that all of Biology benefits from the epistemic validation of technology, since to do that is to fall for the essentialist fallacy. The experimental, controlled study of genetics which produces technological benefits is not necessarily related to the theoretical, uncontrolled study of genetics that produces theories of relationships between species assuming Common Ancestry. However, those who advocate scientism rely on the essentialist fallacy to leverage epistemically powerful areas of study (which produce valuable technological benefits) in order to support epistemically weak areas of study (which produce no technological benefits).

    Therefore, it seems to me, that attacking old-earthers on the basis that they are “compromisers” or that they undermine the Bible is unpersuasive since it ignores the spiritual problem of idolatry and their reliance on scientism. Old-earthers simply see themselves as taking the Bible seriously and are blind to their scientism. Let’s instead focus on the spiritual problem and produce persuasive arguments that expose the real problem–scientism.

    As an aside, the essentialist fallacy is a pernicious problem. Jay Wile relies on an essentialist fallacy when he thinks that because a prominent Christian teacher has provided valuable service in support of orthodoxy in some areas, that that teacher necessarily is not-heretical in all areas. That’s keeping the baby and the bathwater.

  4. notmanynoble says:

    Great critique of some popular ideas that Jay Wiles represents. I’m going to have to come back and read it again, though, had to rush through too fast…thanks for such a great blog, good attitude and mostly, your hard work. God’s blessings on you and your work.

  5. Sandra Weeks says:

    Just stumbled on the blogs between you and Dr. Wile. Are not these types of arguments and fanatical devotion to a position those that led to the slaughter of both protestants and catholics? Do we worship God or the Bible? Can we let God be in charge of the holy mysteries?

    Are you satisfied that God lets things simply “appear” to be old, making God play fast and loose with truth, for the sake of your personal understanding of the Bible? Simply reading in Genesis is confusing, for instance, where earth seems to exist before other light in space. When one reads the scriptures, one accepts one’s limitations with humility, knowing that in the end we will see clearly what we do not understand.

    Jesus gave two commandments…love the Lord God with all our heart, soul, and spirit. The second, He says, was very like the first…love your neighbor as yourself. He did not call on us to destroy ourselves or His church in order to prove a point. Resolution is not compromise. There is altogether too much testosterone on this blog and way too much “of the flesh”. It is very unappealing.

    For my own children, I discuss several options and point out all the holes in evolution. They did not color books with dinosaurs romping with Adam and Eve as this still pretty much constitutes a fairy tale. It is certainly not scriptural, but it is the ultimate hope of creationists who worship the Bible instead of the Giver of the Word.

    It is what happens when we worship what we “think”. This kind of thinking has split the church world into a thousand factions. I know in my heart who is truly loving and who can stand in relationship to the Christ being at peace with holy mysteries. On Christ the solid Rock I stand. The Word supports the Rock, not the other way around. You fellows can find common ground without implying that those who allow for debate are without salvation and worse.

    1. Sandra,

      The problem with your response is that it’s based on a straw man, specifically a false dilemma. We don’t either worship God or the Bible; rather we worship God and have the humility to read our Sourcebook as if God was actually omnipotent and revealed His Word to us without error.

      Understand that this is not my personal understanding of the Bible; it’s the historical, traditional understanding of the Bible. Your understanding of the Bible is relatively andtherefore suspect. If you really accepting your own limitations with humility, you’d accept the Word as written instead of trying to impose extraBiblical ideas onto it in an arbitrary fashion [millions of years but NOT microbes-to-man evolution, even though both extraBiblical ideas have as their source the same extraqBiblical authority.]

      We are to speak the truth in love. Jesus is the Way, the TRUTH and the life. We are to be first pure, then peaceable. Truth has to be a part of the equation, Sandra.

      Your comments about testosterone are mere ad hominem and your judgment that I am “of the flesh” is a question-begging epitaph. Worse, it is exactly this sort of subjective judgment without specific evidence that I decry on this blog where it concerns Wile and GHC.

      Truth does split churches into factions, because light has no habitation with darkness. Neither hath Christ anything to do with Belial.

      Your last sentence is troubling: where did I state anyone was without salvation? It appears you are reacting more than reading, Sandra.

    2. TomH says:

      Sandra,

      Regarding holy mysteries–do you include in those mysteries the God-contradicting human speculations about origins masquerading as “science?”

      How do you know that humans didn’t coexist with dinosaurs? Job certainly seems to indicate otherwise.

      As regards things “appearing” old, the appearance may be in the eye of the beholder due to a preconceived worldview, per Norwood Hanson. God didn’t necessarily have anything to do with any such “appearance.” Let’s attribute the fault of misunderstanding to the arrogance of human eyes, not to the Creator.

      The Rock needs no support. All things hold together in Him and through Him. The Word requires that we defend the faith. The Word goes forth from the Rock and bears His attribute of truth.

      As Rev. Tony wrote, who is saying anything about anyone else’s salvation? We are only trying to dissuade some confused people from their error.

      Are you disputing my assertion that claiming that men have more knowledge than God is idolatrous and heretical? Let’s suppose that the earth is young, but some Christians claim that it is old. Why do they do so? Isn’t it because they attribute more knowledge to men’s claims about the age of the earth than they do to the Bible’s claims? And if they rank the word of men above the word of God, which is the Bible, how are they not deprecating God’s omniscience and elevating man’s knowledge above God’s? How is that not idolatrous? How can teaching idolatry not lead to heresy?

      1. James says:

        There is little (is any) hard evidence that dinosaurs co-existed. This is not a hill to die on. If co-existence were the case, we would expect to have abundant Biblical anecdotes confirming this – for there would be fantastic encounter episodes.

        Your argument of men claiming to have more understanding that God sounds like an argument the church would have used against Copernicus, Galileo, and Kepler.

        There men were not making such a vain claims of knowing more that God, but just reporting what God’s general revelation was reporting to them.

      2. Tony Breeden says:

        James,

        I respectfully note that you’ve offered a straw man. Biblical creationists do note that the word dinosaur was coined well after the translation of the King James Bible. There are quite a few references to dragons and fiery flying serpents which may reference dinosaurs which co-existed with man. It is also difficult the reconcile the predominance of dragon legends the world over without the historical co-existence of dinosaurs and dragons. Finally, you cannot be unaware of Biblical creationist arguments that behemoth, described in the book of Job, is a probable description of a sauropod dinosaur.

        It is ironic that you mention Galileo, because in that case the Church had hitched their wagon to science falsely so-called based on what the Bible might also be translated to say rather than what it actually said, making it more of an indictment against current progressive creationists models that a traditional young earth creationists position. Just saying.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Tony,

    Excellent exposition of the beliefs of those who seek to compromise God’s word in the name of being irenic. I too have had multiple interactions with Dr. Wile through the Facebook Group Christian Apologetics Alliance. The very quotes you provided from him in this post were also his typical mantra of responses to me on the same topics. He even went so far as to say that Darwin’s admission that in his perspective “the Old Testament from its manifestly false history of the world, with the Tower of Babel, the rainbow at sign, etc., etc., and from its attributing to God the feelings of a revengeful tyrant, was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindoos, or the beliefs of any barbarian” was not evidence of an individual who had rejected the God of the Bible.

    I was summarily belittled and told I was participating in a bigger lie by promoting a YEC position than those who adhere to evolution. Pretty surprising response from an individual who claims to be a YEC.

    Thank you for your ministry and for the excellent array of resources you are providing.

    1. Dr. Wile has been giving lipservice to YEC for a while but he’s been actively defending OEC and evolutionary positions. You can’t play Devil’s advocate when we’re commanded to give no place to the Devil! I’ve reminded Dr. Wile in various ways that Jesus warned that “he who is not with me is against me; and he who does not gather, scatters.” No one can ride a fence with the issue of the ultimate authority of God’s Word. Neutrality simply isn’t possible when it comes to God’s revealed Word. Thank you for the kind words of encouragement.

      1. James says:

        Again, I ask for decorum –
        Here we see Dr. Wile painted as being “AGAINST” Jesus.

        Don’t you see the harm such an indictment does here to attack Wile’s position in Christ?

        This is a non-essential (yes, it is important), but to “infer” that Wiles is in bed with the Devil and cares not for the cause of Christ clearly steps across the line.

        Let’s keep things civil – Make counter points, but attacking the character of a Christian brother steps across the line of as I see it.

      2. Tony Breeden says:

        James,

        Kindly point out where I ever said that Dr. Wile does not care for the cause of Christ or said he was in bed with the Devil. I encourage you to read both Jesus and Paul [particularly the Corinthian letters] if you think that questioning another Christian’s character is crossing the line. Think: Scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites [pretenders]! That’s the problem here: Folks are judging the matter according to how they see it, supposing that Christian character requires that we never point out error or question another brother’s statements or motives, instead of judging the matter according to what the Bible says. Do you really value civility over truth and a pretense of peace over Christian purity?

      3. Anonymous says:

        I was looking for some reviews of Apologia science texts and came across this blog.
        Honestly everything I have read here makes me want to run as fast as possible away from any science curriculum that has any basis in Christianity. I see God at work in my life, my kids’ lives, and people around me every day. I’m sorry that people are wasting their time and others’ time on these petty creation arguments instead of putting their energy into showing Jesus’ love to others in tangible ways.

      4. Tony Breeden says:

        With due respect, the Bible teaches us to speak the truth in love. Grace AND truth came by Jesus Christ, who identified Himself as the Way the TRUTH and the life. We cannot make a false dichotomy of right belief and right living, sir.

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